A woman of valor is a poem, which signs the Book of Proverbs, praising the Hebrew woman. It is written as an alphabetic acrostic and describes the ideal woman. It is chanted every Shabbat eve by the father of the house, BEFORE the traditional blessings sanctifying the holiest day in Judaism. Various interpretations were given to the object of the poem, from a certain unknown woman, through various women in the Bible, to the ideal woman and to the Bible.
"A woman of worth, who can find?
For her price is far above rubies.
The heart of her husband has trust in her,
And he shall have lack of gain.
She doeth him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
She seeketh wool and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
She is like the merchant-ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
Shy riseth also while it is still night, and setteth forth provision for her household,
And their portion for the maidens.
She considers a field, and then buys it;
With the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
She girds her loins with strength,
And makes strong her arms.
She perceives her earnings are good, her lamp goeth not out at night.
She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle.
She stretches out her hand to the needy;
Yea, she reaches forth her hands to the needy.
She is not afraid of the snow for her household;
For all her household are clothed with scarlet.
She maketh for herself coverings of tapestry;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.
She maket linen garments and selleth them;
And delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
Strength and majesty are her clothing;
And she laugheth at the time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom;
And the law of loving-kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household,
And eats not the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up, and call her happy;
Her husband also, and he praises her saying:
Many women have done worthily,
But you excel them all.
Grace and favor is false, and beauty is vain;
But a woman feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands;
And let her works praise her in the gates."